There were at least three fake bomb threats, or ‘swatting’ incidents, at the Chilliwack Law Courts in 2018. A huge police presence was in the Eastern Hillsides on Jan. 7 after another swatting incident, according to RCMP. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Another ‘swatting’ incident leads to huge police presence in B.C.

Chilliwack RCMP say no shots were fired despite claims on social media

No, there was not a police shootout in the Eastern Hillsides in Chilliwack on Sunday.

A number of Facebook pages lit up on Jan. 6 with people noting a huge police presence in a Ramsay Place neighbourhood off Marble Hill Road and claims that police were exchanging gunfire with someone.

While there was a large police presence there was no gunfire.

And the only crime committed was public mischief in the form of what is known as “swatting.”

Swatting is the term used to describe prank calls to police used either to distract or create fear and havoc by deceiving police into showing up in force at a particular address.

• RELATED: Yet another bomb threat at the Chilliwack Law Courts

Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail confirmed Monday the incident on Sunday was swatting. Mounties don’t like to give details on swatting or bomb threat incidents to avoid copycats.

What Rail did confirm was that it is a serious matter that diverts a lot of police resources from actual police work. He added that it is a criminal offence.

Swatting falls under section 140 of the Criminal Code of Canada under public mischief. It is an indictable offence and is punishable by up to five years in jail.

Whenever there is a large police presence, there is a subsequent discussion on local “beware”-style Facebook pages. What likely caused further concern on Jan. 6 was a person who claimed to actually witness police shooting.

A woman said she was in her vehicle with her baby when an officer told her she could drive through the area.

“[O]ther officers were starting to shoot and more were getting into position and the shots were going off so I put my brakes on,” she wrote in part.

But there were no shots fired.

Police are investigating the source of the prank call.

• RELATED: Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read